It’s a #BookBirthday: “Everybody Counts!” has officially arrived – with a GIVEAWAY!

That’s right, Everybody Counts! (The Little Fig, 2023) which has been popping up at indie bookstores around the country the past couple of weeks, is officially available EVERYWHERE!

This book, like many, is a lesson in patience and tenacity: I completed the manuscript in June 2013, and here we are nearly 10 years later! It went through many revisions and many, many publishers before The Little Fig, which specializes in multilingual books, took an interest in it. We signed the contract in 2018 – but a year an a half later, a pandemic hit and stalled all our plans.

Better late than never, right??

all images © 2022 The Little Fig, all rights reserved

The book features 12 animals of varying ethnicities teaching the reader how to count to ten in each of their languages, along with an ethnic name and food item. Languages included in the book:

  • Swedish
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • French
  • Swahili
  • Portugese
  • Arabic
  • Greek
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
  • Navajo

From from baozi buns to blue corn mush, from currywurst to masala chai, readers will be able to learn more about favorite foods of twelve different cultures while learning how other folks around the world count. It’s a creative nonfiction picture book I hope will find a place not only in schools and libraries but in homeschools, as well. Can you imagine how fun it would be to make all these foods?

Readers who want to learn more will soon have the opportunity to go the The Little Fig website to find links to pronunciation videos and more. You can order directly from the publisher, but you can also pre-order through Amazon, B&N, Indie Bound, and Target.

My local hometown indie bookstore, MainStreet BookEnds, offers personally-signed copies – just let them know you’d like one when you place your order. They’ll send me an email, I’ll run downtown and sign it, and they’ll get it in the mail – usually within 24 hours!

If you’d like to learn more about the book, the creative process it went through, and my approach to writing, please check out the interview my friend Maria Marshall posted today at her blog!


If you’d like to win a FREE COPY of Everybody Counts! just leave a comment below! If you share this post on Twitter and tag me (so I’ll know about it) you can earn another entry, and if you share the news on Instagram (again, be sure to tag me) you can earn a third entry!

I’ll draw one name at random Thur. night, Jan. 12 at 8pm EST and announce the winner in my Fri., Jan. 13 post. Good luck, and thanks so much for your support!

~ World Read Aloud Day 2023 ~

It’s that time of year again, and I will once again be reading to schools and libraries all across the coutry one month from now!

World Read Aloud Day, sponsored by Lit World, spotlights the importance of reading to kids and I will once again be spending most of the day Wednesday, February 1, reading to students virtually! My day is usually jam-packed with 2-3 visits every hour, all day long, and spots are already filling up.

If you would be interested in having me join your class for a 20-minute visit via Zoom, GoogleMeets, MS Teams, Skype, tin cans and string, whatever – let me know! I will read one of my picture books, share some poetry, and talk a little bit about the writing process and how they all came to be! Just email me at matt(at)mattforrest(dot)com and I’ll reply as quickly as I can.

Proud to be a First Round panelist for the Poetry Category!

I’m booking author visits for the 2022-23 school year:

Click the graphic for more details!

I love chatting with elementary and middle school classes about writing: why poetry is fun to read and write, the importance of revision, and how one’s imagination and creativity can lead to a fantastic career! My presentations are tailored to fit the needs of the classes and students’ ages. One day I might be sharing details of how a picture book like Flashlight Night (Astra Young Readers, 2017) was created; the next, I’ll be discussing dinosaurs, tree ferns, or origami sea turtles!

Student presentations include:

  • The Making of a Picture Book
  • How a Child Saved a Book
  • “Once Upon Another Time”
  • The Most Imporant Thing about Writing Poetry
  • “I Am Today”

Adult presentations include:

  • The Making of a Picture Book
  • Poetry: An Introduction to the Most Important Genre
  • The Most Important Thing about Writing Poetry
  • Free Yourself with Free Verse
  • Tight Language, Loose Narratives: Crafting a Non-Traditional Picture Book

Learn more at!

If you or someone you know might be interested in having me visit your school, library, or other organization, please email me
at matt(at)mattforrest(dot)com!


(The Little Fig, LLC, 2022)

or order now, directly from the publisher!

Order a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of this or or ANY of my books
from my local independent bookstore!


Be sure to check out all the cool new picture books arriving this year from my PB22Peekaboo partners!


I’m very happy to be part of the BOOKROO family!

Create an account to add books to wishlists and be notified of special deals and dates…create custom collections…and discover and follow your favorite authors & illustrators!

Find out more about BOOKROO here!


I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.


Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!

You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Astra Young Readers, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click here to view all my books and to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)


Thank you to everyone for your support!




Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!

To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post once or twice a week – usually Tues. and Fri. – so you won’t be inundated with emails every day) . Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookInstagramPinterest, and SoundCloud!

14 thoughts on “It’s a #BookBirthday: “Everybody Counts!” has officially arrived – with a GIVEAWAY!

  1. Pingback: Poetry Friday: “when bricks fall” – Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

  2. Pingback: Poetry Friday: #CYBILS Awards Round 2 Finalists announced! – Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

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